Kang’s Solheim Cup week off to nightmare start as her clubs go missing in transit

Mark McGowan

Danielle Kang at Finca Cortesin (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Former Women’s PGA Championship winner and team USA Solheim Cup member Danielle Kang’s week is off to a shaky start after the 30-year-old arrived in Andalucía minus one extremely important piece of luggage – her golf clubs.

Flying from Las Vegas to Malaga via Amsterdam, Kang’s connecting flight with KLM airlines departed on time and all seemed well until the gradual realisation that dawned that her clubs hadn’t been on the plane.

“First they told they were in Amsterdam,” said King during her Tuesday press conference at Finca Cortesin. “Then they said Vegas. Now it’s Amsterdam again. It’s been an adventure. If it wasn’t a dramatic entrance, it wouldn’t be my life, so it’s OK. It’s all good. My captain, Stacy [Lewis], has been absolutely incredible. The entire U.S. team has been helping me. Everyone’s on top of it.”


It’s hardly ideal preparation for a week where each player is under the microscope and they are playing for something more than themselves, but as anybody who’s had a similar experience to Kang can testify, allowing your frustration to grow only makes things worse.

With a record of 5-7-0, this is Kang’s fourth appearance in the biennial event but can take solace from the fact that Aine Donegan had an incredible week despite suffering a similar fate with her prized cargo en route to Pebble Beach back in July, while Kang’s fellow countrywoman Alexa Pano went one better by winning the ISPS HANDA World Invitational having started the week with neither clubs nor clothing as all of her luggage got lost in transit.

With the microscope now turned towards KLM and Delta Airlines, it’s unlikely that Friday’s opening tee shots will come without Kang’s clubs being delivered, but it’s not the first time she’s been forced to scramble late to put a bag together as she suffered the same issue prior to the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath earlier this year.

Titleist, her club manufacturer, have a custom fit replica set on their way and should arrive tonight, but she’d rather have her tried and tested weapons when she goes to battle on Friday.

“It’s harder to duplicate the wedges than the woods, but hopefully we can make the best of it,” she said. “It’s traveling. We’ve all been there when it comes to clubs going missing. I’m just happy everyone else’s arrived. I can handle the drama. At least I got to play today. I got to test out the golf course. It is what it is. You just kind of roll with the punches. It’s life, it’s golf, you know, it’s OK. I’m here and we’re good (laughing).

“I do travel with my putter separately, yes, in a rifle case, because my putter is a different model, so we don’t have the bending machine for it, and it bends a lot during travel, so I put it in a separate case to travel with because I don’t have the means to get my putter checked every week. And, yes, the clubs do get bent on the plane. And, yes, they matter, to all the people wondering. So thankfully the putter didn’t get lost. But it’s OK. The other 13 are coming. It’s coming. We have faith. Stacy [Lewis, U.S. Team Captain] is on it. She’s putting out fires, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one causing fire right now.”

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